Gujarat Giants gave a tough fight against in-form Bengaluru Bulls, but lost the match by seven points in an enthralling Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 9 fixture at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad on Friday, November 18.
The Giants rode on impressive performances from captain Chandran Ranjith and all-rounder Parteek Dhaiya to produce some flashes of brilliance but it wasn’t enough as the two-time PKL finalists succumbed to a disappointing 38-45 defeat against Bengaluru Bulls.
Chandran Ranjith led from the front for the Giants as he picked 12 points including eight touch points and four bonus points. Ranjit was also supported by star all-rounder Parteek Dhaiya, who continued his scintillating form to bag another Super 10 this season.
The game kicked off with the Bulls firing on all cylinders right from the word go. Bulls’ star raider Bharat, on his first raid of the evening — and in fact the evening's fourth raid — got a Super Raid taking out the Giants' Rinku Narwal, Rakesh and Manuj to leave them reeling and staring at an early all out. The ALL OUT duly came soon after, as the Bulls surged into a 9-3 lead.
However, the Giants did not take the shock lying down and were soon in the hunt themselves. Prateek Dhaiya and Chandran Ranjith's success soon helped them inflict an ALL OUT of their own to draw level at 11-11.
But the pendulum swung again, and the Bulls went on to get their second ALL OUT of the game to again run into a 20-13 lead. Bharat had by then registered a super 10 already. Despite a late Giants fightback, the teams went into halftime with the Bulls leading 26-22.
The pace of the game dropped in the second period, but the quality remained high. While Bharat's constant success when raiding ensured the Bulls never lost the lead, they were never truly out of sight either.
It all changed at the halfway mark of the second period. On a Do-or-Die raid, Bharat took out Shankar Gadai, Chandran Ranjith and Rinku Narwal, a Super Raid, that set up another all out. Mayur Kadam's tackle on Sonu gave the Bulls their third ALL OUT of the game to streak into a nine-point lead.
While Bharat and the Bulls' raiders took much of the applause, their quartet of defenders were also chiefly responsible for what ended up being a straightforward victory. Between them, Mayur Kadam, Mahender Singh, Saurabh Nandal and Aman scored 10 points, and kept the Giants' Ranjith and Dhaiya at bay to ensure their team got the win.
With 33 points from 14 matches, the Giants are currently placed 11th in the Pro Kabaddi Season 9 standings and will be desperate to return to winning ways when they face U.P. Yoddhas in their upcoming fixture on Monday, November 21.